Okay, okay. I realize that it has been nearly three weeks since my last post, but that is no reasons to get all moody. I’m back now; therefore, we should both just move on.
What have I been up to you ask? Well! What haven’t I been up to! Since we last conversed, we spent some time in Chattanooga: by day climbing at the local crags, and by night hanging out in Joe and Amy’s sweet apartment. We saw what Chatt town had to offer and were very impressed. For all you winter hating climbers out there make a note – Chattanooga = awesome winter climbing destination a la bouldering, sport climbing, and trad climbing.
On our last day in Chattanooga, we got a tour of the local sport crag, Deep Creek, courtesy of Blake Cash. Rad Rad Rad! Steep climbing with a style reminiscent of Lake Louise (if Lake Louise were 30 degrees steeper). On our way out from the crag, Blake feel behind by 5 minutes talking to some buddies at the crag, and Marshal, Adam, Caren, Joe and I were left with three dogs to find our own way back to the cars. An easy enough task one would think. Down the valley, up the hill, left on to the trail, walk, walk, walk…or was it right on the trail? We were lost. After much deliberation between the 5 of us we decided to turn around, and bushwhack further up the hill. Mid-way up Adam gets the incredibly brilliant idea to call Blake and get him to honk the horn of the truck (Blake had long since reached the cars, and was waiting patiently for his gumby friends). It was a good thing we got him to honk the horn because we were not headed in the right direction. With our new audio compass, we headed in the direction of the intermittent beep beep. We soon stumbled upon a clearing, and a road. Salvation here we come! It was a good thing too, because the sun had long since set, and it’s most persistent rays were barely enough to differentiate gravel from grass. The tensioned mood was relaxed, and we joked about who to blame. Only a few minutes back to the cars. As we walked further along the road, we made out a light…in a car, or was it a house? Too dim to know for sure. We got a little closer, it was house, scattered around were rusted out cars, and random parts for machines for who knows what. We suddenly realized that we were approaching the house from the back. We were on their property. A dog started barking. Non of our dogs make a sound. The tension was back, and everyone is quiet. We couldn’t go back the way we came, no one wanted to spend the night in the backwoods of Tennessee, the only option was to continue to the house. We are all walking as if on broken glass, trying to make all but the most unavoidable sounds. We approached a gate. The dog was still barking. From the house comes a noise nobody wanted to hear: the unmistakable creek of a screen door. A silhouette appeared on the porch. Not knowing what to do, I kept my mouth shut out of pure concern for the intentions of the shadowed figure. Joe offers the stranger an explanation for our appearance on their property with notable apprehension in his voice: “ Sorry, we got lost hiking out from Deep Creek…”. The figure grunted and retreated back into the house. With hearts racing, our pace quickened, and we put distance between us and the uncertainty behind. Breath, remember to breath. Five anxious minutes later we were at the cars, greeted by Blake. Freedom.
The next day, Marshal and I are on our way to Louiseville to pick my good friend Peter woods up from the airport. Why Louiseville you ask? Well, Pete confused Lexington and Louiseville when booking his ticket, and was unable to make the switch after it was purchased. It’s ok Pete, not the worst thing that’s ever happened…except that the flight came in at 11PM, oh wait, 12:30AM with delays. You’ll live it down one day. But until that day, it’s double belay duty, and triple dishes duty for you. Hahaha, we’re not actually that mean.
With Pete in tow, we headed back to the Red for the next round of route climbing. After a week away we were psyched again to test ourselves against some new routes. We climbed, we avoided the rain, and we had an amazing time.
The 10 days with Pete were great. Somehow the bleak weather forecast turned for the better, and we got numerous sunny climbing days. We climbed at new crags everyday, giving Pete a complete taste of the Red. A tour of Kentucky’s Reptile Museum was had, bowling pins were knocked down, a local auction was visited, and a spicy wing challenge was won (stay tuned for the upcoming post).
I am now sitting in a café in Lexington, after having dropped Pete off at the airport a couple days ago, and Marshal at the greyhound station a couple hours ago. The Red was good to me. On our last day I climbed my 200th route 5.12 or harder, over 50 of which were at the Red. The same route was my 40th all-time 5.13. I look forward to coming back in the future; hopefully it won’t be too long.
For now, I’m headed south. I’ll be visiting a couple amazing bouldering destinations before meeting up with Josh and Regan in Vegas for Christmas.
Talk to ya soon,
|Myself climbing 40 ounces of Justice|
|Pete trying to be friendly with a king cobra|
|Pete not so happy with bowling|
|Aftermath of AQ vs. very very Hot Wings.|
|Crew at the auction|
|Marshal sending Table of Colours|
|Pete looking good on the warm up|
|Marshal throwing down some BBQ|